What to do when your toner cartridge is not recognized

3. November 2011 07:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Toner cartridges contain an embedded microchip that can cause problems with the printer detecting it properly. Oftentimes a “toner cartridge not recognized” error will appear when attempting to print. There are several reasons why a printer can fail to recognize a toner cartridge as described below.

Failure to Power-Down the Printer
Installing a cartridge without turning off the machine can cause a cartridge not recognized error. Affecting the main memory of the printer, this problem can be remedied by turning off the printer, removing the toner cartridge and unplugging the printer for at least five minutes. After five minutes has passed, reinstalling the toner cartridge will reset the printer’s memory and it should print successfully. This is the most common solution and has helped me resolve the error when replacing  my Dell toner on many occasions.  Many people fail to do this step because they do not think it will make a difference.

Improperly Connected Toner Cartridge
Certain brands such as the Lexmark or HP toner cartridge are created with the print heads directly on the cartridge. The cartridges make direct contact with electrical circuits connected to the print heads. One slight issue in the connection can cause the toner not recognized error. Removing the cartridge from the printer and placing it back in should fix the problem.

Smart Chip Problems
Toner cartridges contain a chip that communicates the remaining level of toner to the printer. Printers will often refuse to accept toner that has a particular kind of chip.

If the printer refuses to recognize the cartridge after following the methods highlighted above, try another cartridge.

What causes light prints on the side

31. October 2011 07:23 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

It is not fun to go and print something out only to notice that it didn't print out right. One of these problems is when light prints on the side of the paper. There are usually two scenarios where this can happen and it usually depends on what kind of toner cartridge the printer uses. If your printer's toner cartridge uses both the drum and the toner in a single unit, like many HP toner cartridges, then the problem is most likely caused by the cartridge itself.

When the cartridge is the likely cause of the problem, it is probably because the toner is not in its slot correctly. Light is then printed onto the paper because one side of the cartridge is installed correctly into the slot while the other side is not. It might be too far away from the paper while the printer is printing and this is how the light is printed on that side.

The best way to test for this problem is by powering down the printer. Remove the power cord from the wall or the printer as well. Next, open up the access panel of the printer. This will either be on the front or the top of the printer to expose the cartridges. Remove the cartridges and then reinsert them correctly according to the manufacturer's instructions. Once you have reinstalled, turn the power back on and see if this fixed the problem by printing a test page.

Another problem that causes light prints on the side of the paper is the drum itself. If your printer uses a separate imaging drum from the toner, then the drum is most likely the cause. In these types of printers, the laser toner is first transferred from the cartridge to the drum. Then the toner is transferred to the page that is printing. If the drum is dirty, oily or scratched, this could be the cause for light printing on the side of your paper. If the cause is your drum, it is best to replace it or have it cleaned by a professional. It is a sensitive part of your printer and it is not recommended to try and clean it yourself. Doing so can result in breaking it or causing damage to your printer.

How to change your printer settings

27. October 2011 06:17 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

There are many printer options that can change the entire look the paper you are printing. Learning how to change the printer’s settings is easy, but no one has to know that. It can be your little secret. The first step is to prepare the document for printing. Once the document has been typed and checked for errors, it is time to print it for use.

How to change your printer settings:
First click on the ‘print’ button in whatever program you are in, select your printer from the drop drown and click the Properties or Preferences button.  Click on the ’printer setting’ tab. This opens a menu with a variety of choices. The next step depends on what you want to change on the document.

Print Quality Settings
Documents can be set to print at differently levels to save on ink or toner usage. Included are ‘draft’, ‘normal’, ‘best’ and ‘maximum’. These settings determine the DPI setting. The higher the setting, the better quality of print received.  Click one of the buttons depending on which one you wish to use. A ‘draft’ copy will not use nearly as much ink or toner and the printing will be much lighter than the other settings. Use this if you just want a test run. ’Normal’ prints a quality copy that is geared for primarily text documents. The ‘best’ setting gives the best possible printing job. When using this setting, printing will take longer. If printing images, this setting gives the best outpu. The last setting is ‘maximum’. This setting puts the maximum amount of ink or laser toner on the paper and is generally not useful.

‘Orientation’ on a printer means which way the document is printed. If it is a letter, the paper should be printed in ‘portrait’ mode. If it is a graph or chart, ‘landscape’ works best. To change the orientation, click on ‘preferences’. Click on the scroll down button, and then choose the option you prefer. Click the ‘save’ button and the orientation is set.

Number of Copies
The number of copies you want printed can be changed from the first printer screen. It is on the lower right corner of the screen. You can use the scroll button to change the numbers up or down. The number can be typed in as well, which is sometimes much easier. This setting automatically returns to 1 after the requested number of copies have printed.

Page Range
If there are certain pages you want printed but want to leave out others, you can simply change the page range. If you want all the pages to print, you don’t have to do anything. If you want to change the range, mark ‘pages’. The page numbers must be typed in. For instance, if you want page 2-5 printed, type 2-5. To print on particular page, type in that page number. To print page one, type 1.

These few changes make it much easier to manage printing tasks. You will save ink¸ paper and time. All print jobs will come out more professional in appearance, which makes you appear more professional.

Why toner cartridge shipping seals are important

25. October 2011 06:03 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

When a new toner cartridge is opened for a printer, it should have a shipping seal. This is usually a strip of plastic that is wrapped around a main roller in the cartridge. It will have a little tab sticking out from the cartridge. Prior to using the cartridge, this tab must be pulled, thus removing the seal. Otherwise, the toner will not come out and your prints will be blank.

Just as it is important to make sure a jar of peanut butter has a proper seal before it is opened, a toner cartridge must have a seal. If the seal is lacking, return the cartridge for a replacement.  The seal wraps around the main roller in the cartridge which creates a gap between the application rollers, developer and doctor blade. This prevents any toner from being released and allows the cartridge to be shipped. If the seal was removed or there was a problem installing the seal during the manufacturing process, you will immediately know because laser toner powder will have dumped out into the plastic bag during shipping.

Another problem that is common with the seal, you are unable to pull the seal out of the cartridge. I have seen this issue happen on a number of occasions with brand new genuine HP toner cartridges.  If the seal is jammed, do not continue to tug on the seal. Instead, immediately call to get a replacement cartridge.

Printing from your Playstation 3

18. October 2011 07:20 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Sony Playstation 3 (PS3)The Playstation 3, beyond its primary function as a game console, is an excellent all-in-one multimedia device. It's one of the top Blu-ray players on the market, and can read virtually any movie file, music file, or, particularly, high resolution image files. However, a feature that is not so widely utilized is the PS3's ability to print images directly from its hard drive. We'll explain, step by step, how to make this happen.

HP C4795 ink printerFirst, you want to make sure you're using a printer that is compatible with the PS3. The PS3 supports HP, Canon, and Epson printers. You can usually check on the manufacturer's website to learn which printers are compatible, as well as Sony's website. Make sure your PS3 firmware is updated, as well.  I have my PS3 successfully connected to the HP C4795 ink printer via a USB cable.

Second, connect the printer to the PS3. You can either use a USB connection, or you can use a printer that is on your network. In this case, just make sure the printer is on. It's important to note that with some or all HP printers, the PS3 will not recognize them if they are connected via USB. You will have to have them connected on the same network to use them in this case.

Next, you will need to configure the printer. This can be done in the XMB menu, by first going to Settings, then Printer Settings, then Printer Selection. The on-screen instructions should guide you from that point on. If this step is giving you trouble or you're not seeing your printer in the options, try selecting Other (Network Standard). This should provide you with a list of all printers that are available on the PS3's system network, where you should be able to find your model.

At this point, you should be ready to print your images! This can be done by going to the Images category in the XMB, then selecting the image you want, pressing [Triangle], and selecting Print. It will then show your current print settings, which you can alter by pressing [Triangle] again. The settings can be different depending on the printer you're using. Select Print one more time and press [X], and your image will print. You can also print an image that is currently being displayed by pressing [Triangle] and going through the same steps.

If you need to check the printer's status or stop a print job, this can be done by going to Settings, then to Printer Settings, then Printer Manager. Also, if you have images stored on a DLNA media server that is being used by your PS3, you will need to copy them to the PS3 hard drive before you can print them. This can typically be done by having the image selected and pressing [Triangle], then selecting the Copy option.

This guide should make printing with your PS3 a breeze. If you need further help, check on the Sony website or the printer manufacturer's site, as they can provide more detailed information.

How to print from Citrix

10. October 2011 12:04 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

CitrixSometimes, an office’s printing set-up can become extremely unwieldy and difficult to manage. People running such an office may wish there was an easier way to manage all that printing to the variety of ink and toner cartridge printers. Thankfully, there is a way to accomplish this. This solution involves installing Citrix printing management services. By using a Citrix program known as XenApp, you can manage Citrix’s different services as well all the printers installed on a computer network.

An important part of using Citrix to manage your printing is setting up policies that determine how this management occurs. To do this, the advanced configuration settings of XenApp need to be used. By altering these configurations, a person can change the policy settings for a network’s printers. In specific, something known as CUP, an acronym that stands for Citrix Universal Printer, must be set-up and enabled.

The first step to this process is accessing your desktop’s start menu. From the start menu pop-up, access the “All Programs” section. Scroll down until you see the folder named Citrix. Open it and then click to launch Citrix itself.  Once inside, click on the link to open the menu named “Administrative Tools.” While inside this menu, search for the option that is labeled “XenApp Advanced Configuration.”

Inside this menu, there should also be an option labeled as “Policies.” Right click on this. You should now be able to see an option that is named “HDX Plug-n-Play.” You should click on this. Once you have done so, click to choose the option that is named “Printing” as well.

Within this printing menu, choose the link labeled “Client Printers.” Choose to set the program to “Auto creation.” Also choose to “Enable.” This option should be located below a heading marked “Auto Creation.”

You will also need to select more options to set-up your printing policies. One option you should certainly select is the one that tells Citrix not to auto-create a client printer. This option can be found in a drop-down list that is labeled “When connecting.”

Next, click on the option labeled “Legacy client printers.” After you have done so, make sure to click the selection named “Enabled.” The next option that should be chosen is the one that allows you create something called a dynamic session with private client printers. When you see this option, click on it.

There should also be yet another option labeled “HDX Plug-n-Play.” Choose this option by clicking on it. Near by, there should be an option named “Printing.” Choose it as well. There should also be a “Sessions Printer” section that can be clicked on. Do so and then choose the “Enabled” setting.

Lastly, you need to make sure this plethora of different settings and configurations is saved. You can do this pressing on the button labeled “Apply,” which should be located near the bottom. Once you have done that, click “Ok.” This will make sure all the altered configurations are indeed saved.

Once you have finished all these steps, your printing policies with Citrix should be set-up. You can now use Citrix to mange your computer or network’s printing capabilities.

What are printer firmware updates?

4. October 2011 07:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

binary computer codePrinter firmware is the program stored inside of a printer, which allows it to receive information from a computer and turn it into a printed image. Both ink cartridge and toner printers have firmware.  While most users may not consider it important to install these updates, installing these updates can help repair bugs in existing firmware, which could reduce printer life. Many updates also fix issues with printing speed on some types of files and increasing the number of pages per minute that can be printed. Not all models of printers support user updatable firmware, so searching your printer manufacturer’s website for your exact model of printer will be required in installing firmware.

Using a search engine, like Google, will often be the fastest method of finding the most up to date software possible for your printer. A typical search would consist of your printer brand + printer model + firmware.  Once you have located the newest firmware, save it to your computer and hook up your printer. Be sure all cables are securely plugged in, as disconnecting the printer's data cable or power during the process may cause your printer to have an incomplete firmware installed, making it impossible to print until it can be repaired. This repair may require professional help, so double check before you begin the process.

Run the executable file from your manufacturer, and follow all on screen instructions carefully. Most firmware updates will automatically detect your printer model correctly, but be sure to check twice when selecting any options during the installation process. Again, be sure not to disconnect any cables during the installation. Allow the firmware to fully transfer, and then restart your computer and printer to complete the process.

Once your equipment has restarted, you can confirm that the installation was completed by entering the Control Panel on your computer and navigating to the Printers menu. Double click on the printer you have updated, and choose “Properties” from the “Printer” dropdown menu and check the version number in the “About” tab on this menu. The version displayed should match the version of the firmware you download. If it does, you have successfully installed your new firmware. If not, ensure that you have downloaded the firmware for your exact model of printer and try again.

How to select the right printer for your usage

3. August 2011 17:01 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

Selecting the right printer requires an understanding of your needs. Ask yourself these questions:

Woman thinking about what she will use her printer forWhat will I use the printer for?

How much will it have to print?

How fast do I need it to print?

Do I need to print in color?

Do I need it to perform several functions?

Look ahead and determine if your needs will grow or change and look for a printer that will meet your needs now as well as into the near future. The initial decision you will have to make is whether you need an inkjet printer or a laser toner printer. There are advantages to both.

Inkjet printer
The ink jet printer has become a very popular choice for home computers. They are able to print text and produce color photos close in quality to lab-produced photos. When considering inkjet printers remember the quality of the printed material is determined by its resolution or the DPI (dots per inch). Depending on the paper path, these printers also print stickers, transparencies, T-shirt transfers as well as high quality personalized greeting cards. Inkjet printers accept a variety of paper types and sizes. When purchasing a printer for color photos make sure you examine an actual printed page and not a professionally enhanced sample.  While Ink jet printers may run into some expense with the cartridges, they have been reported to be the most affordable and versatile form of print technology.

Laser printer
The laser printer will meet your needs if you are primarily printing text but are not the best choice for printing photos. These printers have historically been found in offices but with recent advances and lower cost they are a viable choice for home computers as well. Laser printers yield high resolution copies of top quality. They use a laser beam to create the image yielding a result that is crisp, fast and less expensive than ink jet printers. Color laser printers, like the HP toner printers, are available but are generally more expensive. It is recommended that inkjet printers be used for your color print needs.  The main advantage to a laser printer is the speed of printing and the cost per page. If you are printing large amounts of text documents, a laser printer would be advantageous. 

Once you decide on an inkjet printer or a laser printer you may want to consider the option of a multifunction printer.

Multifunction printer
A multifunction printer is an all-in-one piece of technology that will allow you to print, copy, scan and fax from one machine. One obvious advantage is the space saved by having all the services in one device. The down side is that if one part breaks you may have to service or replace the entire unit.

Photo printer
If you are only going to print photos you may want to consider a snap shot printer. They are small, fast, and transportable with the ability to run on batteries. A computer is not necessary as they can print directly from your digital camera.

For more help on choosing between ink and laser, read this post: http://247inktoner.com/blog/post/2012/08/12/How-to-choose-between-a-laser-printer-and-an-inkjet-printer.aspx.

U-shaped, L-shaped and Straight paper path

4. May 2011 12:32 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Most people only consider the printing technology (laser toner versus inkjet) when selecting a printer.  Few people consider the paper path, but this is an equally important aspect when selecting a printer. The paper path affects what mediums the printer can print on. There are three types of paper paths: L-shaped, U-shaped and straight. Each of these have advantages and disadvantages listed below.

L-Shaped Paper Path
The L-Shaped paper path is, as one might assume, shaped like an uppercase L. The paper is stored vertically and then proceeds through the printer; it bends at a right angle and comes out horizontally.

The main advantage of the L-shaped paper path is its use of space. The paper is stored vertically, reducing the amount of space needed. After printing, the printed material can be picked up immediately, and the arm that it rests on can usually slide under the printer. Thus, the only space this printer needs to use constantly is enough for the printer itself. The economical use of space makes L-shaped paths ideal for desks and other places where space is limited.

There is one main disadvantage to the L-shaped paper path. The printer cannot store a lot of paper. Because the paper is being held vertically, only a few pages can be stored at a time. A limit of 50 pages is fine for individual use, but this is not acceptable for a busy office or library. If many sheets are used at once often, then another path may be desirable.

U-Shaped Paper Path
U shaped paperPrinters with a U-shaped paper path store their paper horizontally, usually below where it comes out after printing. The paper bends in a u-shape during printing. These printers are ideal for large volumes, but cannot print on thick material.  The U-shaped paper path stores paper horizontally, requiring more space than the L-shaped path. However, it does not need as much space as the straight-path printers. Storing paper horizontally allows these printers to print large jobs without a problem. Models can have hundreds, some even thousands of sheets in them at a time.

A disadvantage, the sharp angle that paper makes along its path can prevent rigid or thick materials from going through the printer. They simply cannot bend enough to be printed on. The L-shaped path has a similar issue, but not to the same degree.  It is extremely important to keep the printer paper path clean for this type of printer because of the amount of flexing of the media.

Straight Paper Path
The straight paper path sends paper through the printer without bending it. This requires a lot of space, but allows many mediums to be printed on. The straight paper path does not bend paper at all. This allows it to print on very thick and rigid materials. Even CDs can be printed on if the printer has a straight paper path.

The disadvantage of a straight path is the vast amounts of space it requires. The paper must be stored in one place, printed and finally rest in another area. These printers require the most space of any printer.

Choosing the correct Inkjet printer

12. January 2011 12:30 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Inkjet printers have improved tremendously over the last 10 years. The versatility of some inkjet printers can make nice travel companions; others are suitable for photo printing and multitasking. Generally, printer manufacturers offer general purpose inkjet printers and those most appropriate for printing photographs.

Compared to laser printers, most inkjet printers have a slower processing time. This makes inkjets more suitable for small business owners, personal use and home offices. The price for inkjet printers can range between $100 and $800. The actual price will depend on things such as features, image quality and brand (i.e. HP ink versus the less popular Dell ink printers).

Today’s technology gadgets – like inkjet printers – come with so many buttons and menu options that making the right selection can become a daunting task. Printers come in many different sizes and shapes from just as many manufacturers. Determining your printer needs before making a purchase can help to narrow the choices.  Here are a few suggestions to consider before making an investment in an inkjet printer. You want to find the correct printer that is appropriate for your needs.  We describe the type of inkjet printer based on the type of user, however when choosing between a multiple cartridge inkjet printer there are other concerns.

A Novel Idea
Have you decided to write the next great novel? A laser printer can churn out pages at a fast speed. However, more economical choice is a general purpose inkjet printer. This type can work just as well and you also have the flexibility to print pages in color, if necessary. If you are willing to spend a little extra, you can purchase a decent model that is fast and uses less ink.

For the Home Office
Having a home office can put heavy demands on a printer. Besides print jobs, you may need to send or receive faxes or scan legal documents. A versatile and affordable selection is a small home office color inkjet printer. Most home office printers cost between $50 and $150, depending on the features needed.

Ink-Jet Setter
If you travel for business and want to have direct access to a printer, you can carry your office in a notebook bag. You can purchase a portable inkjet printer that comes in a convenient travel size. Most weigh up to five pounds and include a battery charger as an option or standard feature.

Picture Perfect
Any inkjet printer model can print color photographs, but you may want to invest more than $100 for high quality photos. To achieve professional photo finishing quality, you may want to purchase an inkjet printer that can reproduce a vibrant range of pictures.

Paper Path
The path of the paper determines what media the printer will support.  Therefore, it is equally important for you to understand the different options and choose accordingly.  Learn more about printer paper paths.

Review the characteristics of at least three different inkjet printers. Look at the types of paper each printer supports and color management tools to determine which is suitable for your needs. In most cases, a letter-size inkjet printer can appropriately support routine tasks.  Generally, inkjet printers are the least expensive on the market. They can handle a wide range of tasks. For some people, a downside is the cost of consumables, i.e. ink cartridges and specialty paper. Ink cartridges can cost as little as $12 each, or as much as $60 per cartridge.  Your money and time are valuable commodities, so make the choice wisely.

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